Homeless in Alaska – Snow, Bears and Pizza

Towards the end of October we moved to our new spot on Exit Glacier Road. The location is popular in the summer time with seasonal workers who claim one of the many pullouts to live at while they work in town. At that time of the year though transient workers had left town and the road was practically deserted. There were two other campsites still set up – one was a man who left early in the morning and returned around supper time every day and the other was a family living in a converted school bus.

Our stay there would be limited to just a few days because the road was closed at the beginning of November. But for a week we had moved uptown – we had a tent!

We still have that tent. It will show up from time to time in various posts. That’s me trying to coax wet cottonwood to burn.

Having a tent also meant sleeping on an air mattress. It didn’t matter we woke up every morning pretty soggy because of Seward’s damp climate. It was good to stretch out and to snuggle. When we slept in the truck I was on that damn bench seat and Darrel had to endure the back ache that followed laying on two bucket seats with a console in the middle.

We had it pretty good really. Plenty of trees to stake out dogs. A river behind the camp site for water. Wood for a fire – it eventually did burn. Our busyness was only about taking care of our personal needs and those of the dogs. There was time to talk and to dream about what our next step would be.

The river behind our camp. The water is glacial run off and super cold!

There were a couple of times when we got really fancy and rented a movie from town, bought a bottle of wine, ordered a pizza and fired up the laptop for an evening of entertainment. Drinking in the front seat of the truck proved to be a bit awkward the night the Trooper came over for a routine welfare truck. Thankfully he was a reasonable man and realized that we weren’t planning on driving anywhere.

Now I am certain that some who are reading this are in awe of the glamor of this lifestyle but let me just ground you in reality with these pictures.

I can endure anything except a morning without coffee.

He looks more awake than me because he had already had a cup of joe.

Aren’t we beautiful people? And yes we did sleep with those hats on. You lose a lot of body heat through your head and since it was about 15 degrees at night our love just wasn’t enough!

One morning we awoke to this just feet from our tent.

That is Darrel’s size 9 boot print next to the bear print. And yup that’s a penny in the middle.

We had been warned that there was a large Brown bear wandering in the area and that he was probably trying to do some last minute fattening up before heading into hibernation. So we were extra vigilant about food and keeping our site that much cleaner. We also figured that having all those dogs picketed around the camp meant that at the very least they would bark if the bear was around.

Well it was a nice theory. The dogs hadn’t made a sound. No growls. No nervous shuffling. Nothing. It was as if they had collectively held their breath and hoped we’d get eaten first. Not even old Caleb, who thought that his mission in life was to protect me from everything, hadn’t made a sound. So much for man’s best friend!

The few days we had on Exit Glacier Road passed by quickly. Darrel’s dad moved back to California and we were free to hit the road. Our next stop would be Talkeetna.

One of Alaska’s more unusual places but the friendliest people we ever met.

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